Monday, May 20, 2013

Best Country for Retirement?

Quito, Ecuador
Photo by Marcio Ramalho
Thinking about retiring abroad? I've previously written about Ecuador being voted the best place in the world to retire and recently International Living readers again voted Ecuador to be the number one retirement spot in the world. With a three-bedroom apartment in a major city center costing $200 a month, you can imagine why it might be attractive to some. But maybe Ecuador's not your cup of tea? Here's a list of the top 22 retirement havens around the world, taking into consideration lifestyle, real estate costs, climate, and so on.

  1. Ecuador
  2. Panama
  3. Malaysia
  4. Mexico
  5. Costa Rica
  6. Uruguay
  7. Colombia
  8. Spain
  9. Thailand
  10. Malta
  11. Portugal
  12. Nicaragua
  13. Ireland
  14. France
  15. Philippines
  16. New Zealand
  17. Italy
  18. Brazil
  19. Chile
  20. Honduras
  21. Belize
  22. Dominican Republic
I'm pleased to note that France, my current country, has made the list, though that's more a factor of the amenities and health care than the cost of living.

Note that fully half of the above list is in Central or South America. It's disappointing to me that more people don't consider South America as a emigration target. Though there are still issues, Latin America has largely ignored the world's financial crisis. Their economies are growing healthily and this isn't because they're isolated from the world economy: it's because they're experiencing rapid growth and have, in many ways, managed their economies better the Europe or the US.

If I had to start my expat life all over again, I probably would have headed south of the border. It's really a land of opportunity. Your money will go farther, you'll have access to great health care, and with the rapid growth, if you're not yet retired there are plenty of chances to do very well for yourself.